Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September 1, 2009

Hi Poppets! Have you enjoyed your summer? As you’ve read, I certainly have. But don’t get me wrong, in the midst of Pride, the beaches of Mexico and looking at very attractive people in bathing suits, I really have been paying attention to what’s happening in the rest of the world.

Apparently, gay marriage has taken a backseat these days to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. A dear friend of mine is the husband of a closeted soldier. I’ve never had the opportunity to meet my friend’s husband because he has been deployed for so long. God forbid something happen to my friend’s husband, my friend will have to find out through the grapevine. He has no legitimacy. My ex-husband is in the military. We struggled for a long time about going to clubs with our gay friends where they could be comfortable because we had to decide if simply walking into a gay club could be construed as “telling.” Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell needs to be repealed.

It needs to be repealed in the military – and everywhere else, too. What am I talking about? The military may be the only organization that has legislated and turned DADT into legal statute, but it is far from the only place it exists.

As I’ve discussed here before, David was never comfortable coming out at work. Then he ended up with a new company and we expected to be relocating to Mexico, so we put an identifying decal on our car. Now, he’s still in the same industry, we haven't relocated to another country, and he's wary about who might recognize the acronym and know it for what it is. Because, even with this new company, the industry is the same and it’s safer to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

A friend of mine is a teacher at a middle school in a very conservative town somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon Line. He and his partner have been together more than ten years. Not only have they never come out as a couple, not only have they never lived together, they cannot even justify relocating so they live in the same town. Their physical safety, let alone their jobs, is a real concern. Might people suspect? Probably. But love, acceptance, employment and safety are all dependent upon Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Another friend of mine is a firefighter and an EMT in poster-child-for-LGBT-rights Massachusetts. Only he lives and works in a town small enough that I bet you’ve never even heard of it. Hopefully, by the end of the year, he and his husband will be parents. But it has taken the adoption for my friend to come out, to acknowledge his husband is more than his roommate. And yes, there has been a backlash for daring to speak out when everyone else had been happy with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

DADT needs to go away. It needs to go away in the military. I want to meet my friend’s partner. I want my friend to have the rights of any spouse. But DADT needs to go away everywhere else, too. We cannot demand it of the military until we offer it to everyone – and we cannot offer it to everyone until it isn’t legislated against anyone.

Until next month, Poppets, take care of you.

1 comment:

Dennis said...

Oooooooh. Another awesome post I shall be linking.